Body of last missing tuber found after deadly dam accident

FILE - In this June 18, 2021 file photo, rescue personnel stage along the Dan River in Eden, N.C. One of four survivors of a deadly tubing accident said by the time her family saw the dam on the Dan River, it was too late. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

EDEN — The body of the last person missing from a North Carolina river accident that killed five people has been found, weeks after a family rode inflatable tubes over a relatively small but dangerous Duke Energy dam.

The Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office confirmed late Monday that searchers recovered the body of Teresa Villano, 35, in the Dan River near the Draper Boat Landing.

She was among a group of nine relatives from Eden and LaPorte, Indiana, who were floating down the river on June 16 when they went over the dam, which is about 8 feet high. A Duke Energy employee spotted survivors the next afternoon and called 911.

Crews rescued Rueben Villano, 35, and his children Irene, 18; and Eric, 14, along with his nephew Karlos Villano, 14, according to the sheriff’s office. All four were treated at a local hospital for their injuries.

That same day, rescuers found the bodies of Rueben Villano’s partner Bridish Crawford, 27; and Teresa’s partner Antonio Ramon, 30, along with Teresa’s niece, Sophie Wilson, 14, the sheriff’s office said. The body of Bridish Crawford’s son Isiah, 7, was found days later. Teresa was Rueben’s twin sister and their mother told The Washington Post that Teresa was pregnant when she went missing in the water.

Boating experts have said that such low-head dams are notorious for trapping people in the powerful current that churns at their base.